Ukrainian Intelligence: Russian pilot who defected to Ukraine with military helicopter to receive $500,000 reward

Russian pilot Maxim Kuzminov, who flew a Mi-8 helicopter carrying parts for Su-27 fighters to a Ukrainian airbase, will receive half a million dollars, said the representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Andriy Yusov.

"There is official legislation, a corresponding law signed by the President of Ukraine in April 2022, regarding compensation in case a person switches sides to Ukraine along with the equipment," said Yusov.

According to Yusov, the reward will be paid in Ukraine’s national currency.

"Ukraine is a democratic legal state, we fulfill our own obligations and international law. Therefore, again, those Russians who do not want to become war criminals, please surrender, switch over to the Ukrainian side, and defend your own honor and conscience, fight against the Putin regime," the representative of the Ukrainian intelligence added.

In Russia, Kuzminov was called a traitor and demands for his elimination were made.

"Traitors and defectors must be destroyed, regardless of the statute of limitations, circumstances, and motives. Every traitor of the Motherland must live in fear of death, hiding in the darkest and foulest hole, instead of strolling around London or Washington, signing books," said Russian State Duma Deputy Andrey Gurulev.

The capture of the Russian military helicopter Mi-8 together with the crew was reported on August 23. Later, Major General Kirill Budanov, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, revealed the details of Operation Sinitsa, which was prepared by the Ukrainian military intelligence.

"We managed to find the right approach to the person, create conditions to quietly evacuate his entire family unnoticed by everyone. And then create such conditions for him to fly this aircraft with a crew that did not know what was happening," said Budanov.

Yesterday, the documentary film "Downed Pilots of Russia" was released, in which, among other things, Kuzminov explained how the operation took place and justified his actions.

  War in Ukraine, Russia